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I was there when it all happened------------and before it happened.
When I was in grade school and Jr-hi, the "hot" cars were still modified flattys (flat head Fords for those newbies), 6cyl Chevys with a split exhaust manifold with Smittys and dual exhaust. And an occasional Olds. Drag strips and drag racing had come to town!!!! EVERYTHING was good. Anyone remember stuff like Art Arfons and the Green Monster, powered by an Allison V12 airplane engine?

When the 55 Chevys with the "power pack" engine (factory 4bl carb and dusl exhaust), Fords with the 292 Y-blocks, Corvettes and T-birds with V8s -------------------THE RULES CHANGED. Later Chevys and Vettes with 2x4 carbs, fuel injection, T-birds with 2x4 carbs, Olds with the J2 engine, 56 Pontiacs with 2x4 carbs, etc, etc, etc. And later 348 Chevys with 3 carbs, 390 Fords with 3 carbs. Then 409s, 427s, HEMIs, BOSS 429s, 454s --------------- and a 4sp and posi in everything!!!!!!!!!!!! Yep, I remember it all just as if it was yesterday. Then the govt and insurance folks got involved and last, the Arab oil embargo of 73 killed it all ----------------- IT WAS OVER!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Bought my first car a ‘69 z/28 with 44k miles in ‘74 for $1,600. Bought my ‘70 Chevelle SS 454 LS5 w/M22 & 14k miles in ‘78 for $2,400. I’m currently in the process of a frame off restoration on the ‘70 Chevelle; has 34k miles now. My brother still has my ‘69 z/28.
 

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he gave me the keys to one that had an LS6 engine and told me to start it up. I can’t describe the exhilarating impression it made on me when I started that LS6 up and heard and felt it running
Speaking of LS6's......in 1970 one of my buddies (Howie) decided he wanted a new muscle car, either a Chevy or a Mopar, but NO Fords. He was driving a '64 Impala SS, 327/4 speed, at the time. We drove over to Clements Chevrolet in Mankato, MN when it was still located downtown, and walked inside. They had two LS6's, one black, one green, sitting on the showroom floor and a red one out on the lot as a demonstrator. All three had M22's in them. Salesman handed Howie the keys to the one outside and said "come back in half an hour". We tested that car for all it was worth. They wrote up a temporary Purchase Order for the black one on the floor. Howie told the salesman he also wanted to test-drive a new 440/6 Pak Road Runner before making a decision. So we went to a Plymouth dealer and tested an orange 440/6 Pak/automatic Road Runner. Howie ended up buying that one because it was $300 less than the LS6, and the Chevy salesman wouldn't budge off his price.

He later regretted his decision because the Runner was such a poorly-assembled car. Cheap interior, everything rattled, 440 burned oil from day 1. He actually went to several Chevy dealers after about 2 months to trade the Runner in on an LS6. None were available and it was too late in the year to order a new one.

To this day, that red LS6 is the only one I ever rode in. I should have bought that black one, but had just ordered a new '70 L78 Nova from another dealer.
 
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Dad and Mom bought their first Chevelle in 1969, a dark blue Concours wagon with A/C, their first car with A/C and a 307, this was a second car, before then they shared 1 car. In August of 71 Dad bought the 72 midnight Bronze 2 door, Mom hated the 2 door because the doors were heavy so dad titled it in only his name. To this day almost 50 years later she still does not like the car.

In 1979 Dad wanted a 1979 Olds Delta 88 Royale diesel. He special ordered the car and when it came in the 69 Wagon was traded in for $100.

In 1986 I was working at the same Olds dealer dad bought the Delta 88 from and a 72 Monte Carlo showed up in the trade in line. I asked about it and bought it for $400. It had a 402 and was completely loaded down to the power seats. Long story short in 1991 I was needing to get on my own and sold the Monte for $1600., it was rusty and in need of TLC. I think the market for muscle cars started to grow somewhere in the early 90's.
 

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I relive those days on a regular basis when driving one of the 5 replicas of favorite cars that I had from 55 thru 72 and one one 64 original that I located and repurchased last year.


It's total insanity - the amount of time and money I've spent on these relics. I should have added air conditioning to everyone of them but so far only two have it. Hard to believe that we drove these things in south TX back then and thought nothing of the sweltering heat.
So true! I grew up in south Texas myself. My high school car was only 2 yrs old when I got it. A 1969 Chevelle SS 396 four speed car. It had a/c. I promptly took off that power robbing thing (so stupid of me) my Dad caught me doing it and said: "Why didn't you just take the belt off it?" (wish I'd thought of that:D)

Anyhow, we never heard the term "muscle car" back then, they were just our "hot rods". I miss those days, and have owned many a 'muscle car' if I had known what they would be worth some day, I would have kept them all.

Once, I bought a 55 Chevy 2 door post, Dad made me take it back because the engine was doctored with 90 weight to keep a knocking rod quiet. The car was in mint condition, candy apple red, and nice interior, paid 3OO bucks for it...oh well...LOL those truly were "the days"
 

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Jeff, right after my folks bought me the camaro, I found a set of MT valve covers I just had to put on. well the valve covers wouldnt allow the ac bracket to fit back on so I yanked the perfectly good working ac off the car to have a set of valve covers on instead! And since I wasnt using the condenser, I cut the ends off and turned it into a rather large trans cooler. jim
 

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My first car was a 1970 Malibu that I got when I was 15, back in 1979. It was factory equipped with an LS3 B.B. 402, a Muncie M20 4-speed, front disc brakes, a console, and bucket seats. I didn't know how to work on it myself, so I sold it less than a year later. In early 2004, I set out to locate the car. My insurance agent (from 1979) still had a copy of my old policy which showed the VIN. A friend of a friend of a friend was a police office who agreed to run the VIN and find the current owner for me. Using that information, I found my car in a town about 2 hours away (in another State).

I approached the owner and tried to buy the car from him. He was sentimental about it since his Dad had worked on it with him prior to his death; therefore, he didn't want to sell it. I told him that I was sentimental about the car since it was my first. I then sent follow up letters to him every six months asking him to contact me if he ever wanted to sell it. In late 2006 one of his sisters called me and said that he had died. She said that the day before he died he told her to sell the car back to me; "that I should have it". Although it had been cloned, it was still in very good condition. I bought the car from his sisters the next day and don't plan to ever sell it.

His sisters told me that he loved the car so much that he had a photo of it laser etched on his tombstone. I visited the cemetery (in the Chevelle) and saw the headstone for myself. Attached are photos of the car (with me in 1979) and again in 2016.
 

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Dad bought this '55 210 Delray for $60 in 1975.



All he did to it was put new GM fenders on it, and primed them and the doors. I bought it from him for $8k last year and have only changed & painted the wheels and tires so far. I hope to have it roadworthy next spring.
 

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Dad bought this '55 210 Delray for $60 in 1975.



All he did to it was put new GM fenders on it, and primed them and the doors. I bought it from him for $8k last year and have only changed & painted the wheels and tires so far. I hope to have it roadworthy next spring.
I love my Chevelle, but I also love my 56 210 2 door sedan, that I got on the road last September. I've put 9600 miles on it since it hit the road last September. Thanks to PHILIP< or it never would have been on the road!
 

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Sounds like I grossly overpaid for my first car. 1976 I was a Jr. in high school and bought a black ‘68 4-4-2 for $900.00. I drove it for three years, but when gas was getting to be a dollar per gallon I couldn’t justify the high price of feeding it. So off it went. The next owner hit a utility pole with it and that was that.
 

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I was 12 in 1970 and read all the car magazines, built car models and rode in my uncle's various vettes and musclecars. I would check out the dealer lots and remember seeing rows of 70 Chevelle SS in various colors with white or black stripes. I didn't know which to look at first. I remember opening the hood of a Liberty Blue 69 Judge to check out the ram air setup and seeing Superbirds sit on the lots until 1971.

By time I got my license in 1974, the gas crisis made musclecars cheap. I would frequent used car lots and there were plenty of choices almost all under $2,000. My insurance man told me I couldn't get anything over 400 cubic inches and no 4 speed. My choices at my $1,500 limit were an orange/black 70 383 Barracuda or a blue/white 69 Camaro SS with 325 horse 396. Unfortunately I bought the Barracuda. It was already rusting through around the windshield and rear window.

All my friends had musclecars- SS Chevelles, Trans Ams, 442s, Judges, you name it. My high school parking lot looked like a Saturday night cruise in with every type of musclecar and at least two Shelby Mustangs and a Jaguar XKE. Those were the days...
 

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Here is an ad from our local dealership in 1970 - 1967 GTO for $1299, 1969 Z28 for $2399, 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird for $2899.

In 1982 i bought a 69 Camaro ss350 for $800 cash, Had it a few years through high school, traded if for a fast 66 Chevelle, which I traded for my current 69 Convertible.

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e67/75414/carad.jpg
 

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I love those old ads and photos of car dealerships taken in the 60s and 70s. I held on to a few of my car magazines from back then and I wish I would have held on to a few of the Auto Trader papers I used to get.
 
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